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A Christmas Family Tragedy
A Christmas Family Tragedy
Actor: n/a
Director: Matt Hodges; Eric Calhoun
Genres: Drama, Educational
NR     2007     1hr 15min

On Christmas Day, 1929, respected tobacco farmer Charlie Lawson shot his wife and six of his children, and then turned the gun on himself in one of the most brutal murder-suicides in Southern history. Why would a family ma...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: n/a
Director: Matt Hodges; Eric Calhoun
Genres: Drama, Educational
Sub-Genres: Drama, Educational
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 11/27/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

NC Tarheel | King, NC USA | 10/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A Christmas Family Tragedy
78 years and still people want to know the bloody details of this tobacco farmer gone mad. What made him do it? There were so many ideas. Was it only one or all. This, like the books, will hold you in deep suspense. You will
want to watch it again and again."
The best handling of the tragedy
J. Vanhoy | King, NC | 12/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After reading the books about the Lawson murders, this film was by far the best! Seeing the impact it had on the family and community makes you feel as though you've stepped back to that tragic Christmas day in 1929. The documentary was done with sympathy for the family and friends, while giving the viewer a picture of life in the late 1920's. It leaves you feeling as though you knew the family and shows how great an impact the murders had on a small community, and still have almost 80 years later."
Great DVD!!!
A. McBride | Winston-Salem, NC USA | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been interested in this story for many years. I have visited the graves and the property where this occured. I like this DVD because it lets the family members and neighbors (from that time) tell the story in their own words without the filmmakers trying to give their opinion. You get the facts so that you can make your own decisions as to why this horrible tragedy happened. This DVD is a "must see" if you are interested in the Lawson Family tragedy."
Amazingly BAD Quality!
ReaderMan | Carolinas, USA | 02/09/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This is an amazing badly done film and I can't imagine how anyone would give it five stars as a rating. The film quality here largely seems as if done with a hand held camcorder. In some places the sound disappears almost completely. The writing is seems like there was no actual thought put into it, its just loosely slung together with very little point of view. Did the film makers not notice how strange some of their content is: A woman saying she wouldn't sing a classic lullably to her baby cause a baby fell from a tree, but rather sang the Lawson murder ballad to it (didn't she notice this was a song about a father killing his entire family on Christmas day? That's would disturb any young child. Good lullaby for a child??? I don't think so!) Did they interview a lunatic? Also another person claims he had nightmares about the story on average five nights a week all his life? Really? That would be more than 7,000 nightmares if he is 30 or so years old. I just don't find that believable and the film maker should have realized that claim would be questionable to thinking people, expecially in a "documentary." What were the writers and director thinking? Another really strange thing is that the director has the murderer Charlie Lawson depicted in a sport coat, khakis, white shirt and tie throughout the entire production. Any amount of research would have assured them a 1920s tobacco farmer would not have dressed that way. Again, that's just bizarre to see in something that is supposed to be a documentary.
The redeeming qualities of this film are few but some of the interviews could be of interest to family members or neighbors. The song sung at the end is beautifully rendered and is an interesting alternate to the famous Lawson ballad. The Lawson story as depicted in the books by the original author are fascinating but I can't recommend anyone spending their hard earned money for this DVD production. I did and I feel cheated. This production is amateurish at best. My advice is to leave this one on the shelf."